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Determining structure of the Pre-Initiation RNA-protein Complex formed during canonical translation initiation of HIV mRNA

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Viruses such as HIV are a leading cause of emerging infectious diseases and persistent pandemics. Being obligate parasites, they also depend heavily on the host cell machinery to propagate their own life cycle. Yet, surprisingly, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the structure and dynamics of the viral-human complexes that facilitate virus replication and disease progression in the cell. For example, less than 0.01% entries deposited in the Protein Data Bank till date pertain to RNA-protein (RNP) complexes formed from both human and virus components. Thus, in the proposed study, we will use an integrated structural biology approach involving a combination of experimental biochemistry and theoretical biophysics techniques (including X-ray crystallography, cryo-Electron Microscopy and Molecular Dynamics simulations) to investigate the role of the biochemically well characterised HIV TAR RNA element and Tat protein in translation initiation of HIV mRNA by determining high-resolution structure of the HIV-host Pre-Initiation Complex.

Funding Notes

The studentships will commence in October 2020, and a stipend (£15,009 for 2019/20) and fee waiver for 3.5 years is available for UK applicants, plus research training support grant, travel and laptop allowance.

Fully funded studentships are available for UK applicants. EU applicants able to confirm that they have been resident in the UK for at least three years before October 2020 may also be eligible for a full award. EU students who are not able to prove that they meet the residency criteria may apply for a fees only award. Interviews take place week commencing 17 February 2020.

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.02

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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